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Air pollution worse than smoking mother: study

TT/The Local/pvs · 5 Feb 2012, 10:22

Published: 05 Feb 2012 10:22 GMT+01:00

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The study, carried out in Stockholm - a city with comparatively low exhaust emissions - showed that ozone and fumes affect the foetus more than if the mother were a smoker.

Previous studies carried out in more polluted global cities has previously shown that the risk for premature birth is heightened. The Umeå study now reveals that even ground-level ozone poses a danger to pregnancy, according to a report in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily.

David Olsson, a PhD student in Public Health and Clinical Medicine and part of the research group, has expressed surprise at the results which show that the effect of air pollution is comparable to that of smoking during pregnancy.

"If we add up the effects of being exposed to high exhaust levels and ozone it has an even greater effect than smoking," he told SvD.

Ground-level ozone can disrupt the development of the placenta and thus influence the time of birth. In the later stages of pregnancy, traffic exhaust fumes have been found to cause the inflammation of mother's airways and expedite delivery.

Story continues below…

Further studies have shown that premature babies carry a heightened risk of asthma and other respiratory problems.

According to Magnus Wickman, professor and chief physician at the Sachsska Children's Hospital in Stockholm, prescriptions for asthma medicines are more common among premature babies than those going to full term.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:12 February 5, 2012 by Mb 65
If the towns keep lowering the speed limits this the result. A car pollutes more at slow speeds than at a higher speed due to the fact that you are in a lower gear. Kungsbacka lower the limit to 30kph last year and the pollution went up.
14:53 February 5, 2012 by The Archivist
I am very happy to see this report as this is exactly what is needed to slap in the face of the anti tobacco lunatics in England who now blame or attribute smoking/smokers/second hand smoke to virtually every disease known to man-and then some!

They ignore all our claims of air pollution as it does not suit their agenda and they don't want the world to know that our politicians are 'continuously moving the goalposts' so as to avoid the massive £300m in fines, imposed by the EUSSR.

Our own Dr Kitty Little pinpointed diesel & vehicular fumes as the most associated cause of rising cancer trends but was ignored as, again, her studies did not fit with the anti tobacco agendas already in motion.

Thank you Sweden fo9r at last posting the truth!
15:08 February 5, 2012 by Opinionfool
"The study, carried out in Stockholm - a city with comparatively low exhaust emissions - showed that ozone and fumes affect the foetus more than if the mother were a smoker."

Just a minute, didn't The Local publish an article late last year about how polluted (by vehicle exhausts) Stockholm was and how it was near the top of some league tale? And now it's said to have low exhaust emissions.

That said. Only a few years ago air pollution included a large portion of cigarette smoke. One walked through clouds of it wherever one went, the fug filled our homes, we even sat in trains, cinemas, restaurants, and cars ... so with the massive reduction of cigarette smoke something else comes to promenance, in the case vehicle exhaust. It's not that long ago that lead was removed from petrol because of the effect it had on unborn and young children's development. Again, with that removed some other problem chemical has gained promenance.

But exactly what is the risk? And how heightened is it? Just say it is means nothing. If the risk is 0.00000005% it would be serious for the relatively few affected but it isn't a wide-spread risk. If the risk s 0.5% then it's more generally serious. Narrative means nothing without numbers.
15:50 February 5, 2012 by harleyrider1978
Indoor air pollution behind COPD, not smoking: study

You don't have to be a smoker to suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Indoor air pollution is enough for one to contract the infection, says the first-of-its-kind study conducted at 22 villages of Pune.

Out of 3,000 people randomly selected for the study, 210 suffered from COPD. "At least 93 per cent of those who had COPD were non smokers," says Dr Sundeep Salvi, coordinator of the Chest Research Foundation (CRF).

Chest Research Foundation in collaboration with the KEM Hospital, Pune, and the Imperial College, London, UK, conducted one of the largest COPD prevalence studies in a span of two and a half years and released the data on the eve of World COPD Day on November 17.

Dr Sundeep Salvi from CRF, Dr Sanjay Juvekar from KEM Hospital and Dr Peter Barnes from UK spearheaded the study. Salvi said the country requires a national COPD control programme.

The study used a standardised respiratory health questionnaire and spirometry (lung function test that diagnoses COPD). The prevalence of COPD was found to be 6.9% (5.6% amongst females and 8% amongst males).

Among those identified to have COPD, only 7% were smokers and 93% were never smokers, indicating that smoking is clearly not the most important risk factor for COPD in India. More importantly, 23% of the COPDs occurred in age group less than 40 years, which has not been reported earlier, says Salvi.

It has always been believed that COPD starts occurring after 40 years and above in people who have smoked for over 15-20 years. But in India, indoor air pollution seems to be the most important cause so the disease occurs in earlier age groups as well because of exposures from childhood, he explained.

According to a report published by the Maharashtra State Health Resource Centre in March 2010 that examined the top 10 causes of death in Maharashtra, COPD stood out as the number one cause of death. More than 5,50,000 people die due to COPD in India and the country needs a National COPD Control Programme if the numbers of deaths and suffering caused by COPD has to be reduced, he added.

18:44 February 5, 2012 by HYBRED
So smokem if ya gotem
21:52 February 5, 2012 by Douglas Garner
Exactly, Hybred! What a stupid thing to say... I wonder how many young women have decided... well, its not any worse than breathing the air, so I might as well smoke! Oh, and by the way... if they don't stop before the baby is born, why would they stop smoking around the child after it is born? For that matter, what is wrong with starting the kid on butts as soon as they can flick the lighter, right? After all, it sounds like it is more dangerous to be out in your barnvagn and breath the air than it is to take a deep drag!!!
22:34 February 5, 2012 by RobinHood
Smoking is good for you. It calms the nerves, and does not cause lung cancer or heart disease. Car fumes are good for you too. If everyone smoked, and lived next to a motorway, we would all live to be a hundred.

Thank you Sweden for at last posting the truth!
10:24 February 6, 2012 by HYBRED
Douglas Garner> I didn't say anything, I wrote it. And if I want to read "stupid", I will read your post's. The last I checked smoking is legal.
15:07 February 6, 2012 by harleyrider1978
Joint Statement on the toxicological testing of tobacco products

7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18

November 2004.




"5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease."

In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.
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